New criminal law bills

On 11-12-2023, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha that the Government sought to withdraw the three newly proposed three Criminal Bills Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023, and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill, 2023 which aimed at revamping the Indian criminal justice system. The Government proposed that it plans to introduce fresh criminal bills after incorporating the amendments and alterations suggested by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The three new bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11-08-2023 to replace the Evidence Act, 1872, Penal Code, 1860, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The bills were referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee and the report was received on 10-11-2023 under the Chairmanship of Brij Lal, member of Rajya Sabha. The Committee suggested amendments to the bills, with some of these recommendations:

  1. Deletion of the words ‘any information’ from the proposed definition of the term ‘evidence’.

  2. Section 66 of the BNS should also be included in the offences referred to the corresponding clause, so that all the corresponding offences referred to in the BNS are covered.

  3. Inclusion of a provision as to mandate that all electronic and digital records acquired as evidence during the course of investigation are securely handled and processed through proper chain of custody.

  4. Criminalise Adultery in a gender-neutral form.

  5. Revert to the term ‘unsound mind’ instead of ‘mental illness’.

  6. Retain Section 377 of the IPC, as complete omission of it would mean not penalising non-consensual sexual offences against men, transgenders, and bestiality.

  7. Specification of both a minimum and maximum sentence that can be imposed on life convicts to ensure appropriate punishment for the severity of the crime.

Buy Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973  HERE

Code of Criminal Procedure

Buy Penal Code, 1860   HERE

penal code, 1860

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